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Lets discuss Deer Size - & Buck Dispersion

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Lets discuss Deer Size - & Buck Dispersion

Old 09-27-2004, 10:24 PM
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Nontypical Buck
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Default Lets discuss Deer Size - & Buck Dispersion

OK - for those of you that don't know me - this topic is my Pet Peeve - and every year I look to try to learn something from it.

The time of major Buck Dispersion is now upon us. http://www.qdma.com/articles/details.asp?id=7

http://www.westervelt.com/areyouprotectingyourbucks.pdf

You can do a couple searches on Buck Dispersal - and find more, and more information if you wish. But - Basically - most of the young yearling bucks that we've protected and fed well since birth - will leave in October - with their first "Rack" - and re-locate 5 to 25 miles away.

This isn't what I "think" - its true stuff - proven over and over again in dispersal studies. The actual percentages vary - but all studies agree that right after velvet shedding - most yearling bucks will leave.

For example - Here's a resident 3 point:



I've got almost a dozen pictures of him all summer. Look at his muscle mass, and the way his mid-section sags - He has fed well all summer. This is a deer I would like to "pass up" and have around next fall - but alas - its not likely.

Here's another summer deer I've got several pictures of - we call him the "righty three point" -




In New york State - both of these deer are likely to get shot come fall -- and likely it will be 5 to 25 miles away from here. In return we get a new influx of young bucks - many seem not so well fed. Here's a couple "new additions" this fall -that just showed up this week.





While I like the small 6 point rack potential on the second, I doubt he'll dress 100 lbs - and he might not still be around at all - he might be on his way through to his final destination.

We'll do our best to protect these misfits that arrive from "all points" - But - It always throws me a bit.

All that said, I do know that the majority of the bucks that "end up here" after their second winter - will stay -and ultimately these are the deer we want to harvest.

So it brings up the question - If the General Regulations allow the harvest of any buck - then why protect them in your managment program - if most are just "passing through"? Especially early on in bow season. Think about it a bit - and let me know your thoughts.

Thanks
FH
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Old 09-28-2004, 12:33 AM
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Default RE: Lets discuss Deer Size - & Buck Dispersion

If you've been growing food plots and working hard feeding deer it sometimes creates a false sense of "ownership". We have 320 acres with a 7 acre clover field and plans for maybe more but all in all I'd rather have the habitat to create a deer sanctuary that attracts neighboring bucks. Sometimes it's the undulating terrain of a particular tract of land that attracts deer if all the farms in your area are agricultural. What can you really do other than high fence? I wouldn't start killing them for fear of other hunters. Doing your part in restraint will result in some percentage of deer surviving to 2 1/2 years. What is certain is that you can only control your own decisions.
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Old 09-28-2004, 08:45 AM
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Default RE: Lets discuss Deer Size - & Buck Dispersion

I have a couple of comments, but they may not be as organized or well put as they could be.
First, I think you have heard this before, if you want him to stay, shoot his momma. I believe it is the doe that forces the 1 1/2 y.o. bucks to disperse, right?
Second, it is generally the doe family groups that dominate the best nutritional areas and leave the bucks or bachelor groups with the less than adequate areas. So even your bucks with all your hard work may not be getting as much of the good stuff as they should. So your well fed yearlings are probably better fed than the 2 1/2 and 3 1/2 yo bucks on your property because all summer they have been a part of the doe group. Does the good start as a yearling make them better off as 2 1/2 yo when they move to second rate habitat? Or are your yearling transplants better off moving into better quality habitat than they came from. I don't know. Does this make sense?
Lastly, it may be ok to shoot yearlings this early in the season as they will be dispersing anyway. Not so in November. Those are the yearlings that you want to protect.
FH, are you sure those first two deer are 1 1/2 year olds? They look older to me and if they are older, you may not want to keep them.
Sorry if this post is hard to follow.
Brian
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Old 09-28-2004, 10:30 AM
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Default RE: Lets discuss Deer Size - & Buck Dispersion

i dont shoot small bucks anymore, nor do i allow my guest to shoot small bucks, only does and mature bucks.
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Old 09-28-2004, 02:06 PM
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Default RE: Lets discuss Deer Size - & Buck Dispersion

I got trail pics of a small 6 all last summer and had a chance to take him 3 different times from the beginning of October all the way to the middle of November. But this year I haven't got a pic of him yet, nor have I seen him. I'm beginning to wonder if went somewhere else.
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Old 09-28-2004, 03:49 PM
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Default RE: Lets discuss Deer Size - & Buck Dispersion

FH - I live and hunt in CNY also. Our experience has been to kill off as many does as our management schedule allows. The past 3 years it has been approx. 25 per year. It's a lot of work (and a lot of fun!!!). The logic is twofold. The first is to remove mature does that normally will kick yearling bucks off the 'homeland'. The second, and less discussed, is the fact that each deer will eat approx. 600-1000 pounds of forage per month. We obviously supplement with food plots, but sustaining an extra 25+/- mouths to feed equates to over 10 tons of food per month. Statistics show that deer normally spend 80-90% of their time in cover. While in the cover(not in food plots) they are browsing. Imagine how many tree buds, twigs, needles, etc... equals 600 pounds. That growth does not regenerate during our winter months resulting in overbrowsing the cover area, thus resulting in a migration to better pastures. We kill our does as soon as possible, preserving the forage for the remaining population. We never shoot yearling or young bucks and more than often pass on 2.5 year olds. We have held mature bucks on the property. Our preliminary scouting has already shown great promise for this season. Short of a complete enclosure, there is no way to hold all the bucks to a property. However, proper herd management, food, time and cover management can change the odds to a more favorable position.

Is it time to hunt yet?!!!!!
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Old 09-28-2004, 08:46 PM
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Default RE: Lets discuss Deer Size - & Buck Dispersion

Thanks for the replies - the topic of buck dispersion continues to interest me. The trail cams have been helpful, and really provide a snapshot of Batchelor groups, and how they change over the summer. I've got pictures of 17 different bucks now since Aug.1 - on about 150 acres. Obviously they don't all live here - and some are just passing through. Of the 17 bucks, 2 I'm sure are 2-1/2 and one (9 point) is probably 3-1/2 and probably the dominant buck that actually lives on the property.

OSTDC - I hope those 2 in the pictures aren't 2-1/2 years old. I will agree they seem a little larger than most 1-1/2 yr olds - but its been a very bountiful spring/summer. I would agree that if they were 2-1/2 yr olds - they should be removed from the population. We do have a 4 point that is likely a 2-1/2 year old that we see often :



He looks like he'll dress out over 150 lbs. I'd like to "free up his spot" by taking him with a bow this fall. He hangs out with the nice 9 point we've seen.

sean600classic - We've taken quite a few does the last 4 years. We try to take at least 2 does for every buck (thats our goal anyhow). Though I think maybe the last 2 bad winters have helped us a bit too. In fact we are seeing more bucks than does all summer. Some of our hunting group is suggesting we don't take does this year. I still think it would be wise to take 1 buck for one doe if possible - but we will only have 2 landowners permits this gun season for does - that means we'll have to get it done with bow if possible.
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Old 09-29-2004, 10:57 AM
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Default RE: Lets discuss Deer Size - & Buck Dispersion

FH-your survey sounds very promising for the future. We are in our fourth year and the results are plainly visible. We have scouted a number of 3.5 or older bucks and it seems our ratio is getting closer to 1 to 1. It still amazes me how the deer can reproduce so quickly despite the aggressive tactics we take on the does. It just shows that both bucks and does will migrate in to specific area(or do they just reproduce so quickly? - hard to tell). In our second and third year, we always commented on how many yearling/1.5 bucks we were seeing, always with our thoughts to what they would look like in another 2 years. I have been reading your posts on your plots and based on your photos, those deer are fat, healthy, and happy. I suspect you will start seeing some more mature deer in future seasons based on this years count. It's a game of numbers and it looks like you are building a nice herd.

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Old 10-01-2004, 10:23 PM
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Default RE: Lets discuss Deer Size - & Buck Dispersion

ORIGINAL: ostdc

First, I think you have heard this before, if you want him to stay, shoot his momma. I believe it is the doe that forces the 1 1/2 y.o. bucks to disperse, right?
Second, it is generally the doe family groups that dominate the best nutritional areas and leave the bucks or bachelor groups with the less than adequate areas. So even your bucks with all your hard work may not be getting as much of the good stuff as they should.
True the doe runs the son off so he will not establish territory near her and possibly breed her sooner or later.

Second: no family groups don't dominate the best areas. Only to the extent that larger bucks sequester themselves away in hidey holes. But when push comes to shove and the bucks need to put on weight for the winter, they horn does out and take the best areas.
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Old 10-01-2004, 10:26 PM
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Default RE: Lets discuss Deer Size - & Buck Dispersion

It's possible that many of those bucks are "passing through" but only if they are less than 2 years old. Most likely what your seeing is overlapping territories with other land parcels. Bucks do not pay attention to property lines so they are probably spending time on other property that is a part of thier territory.
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